Volume XV, Number 10b
April 21 - 25, 2008
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped." (Psalm 28:7)
On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XV, No. 10b
1. COUNCIL OF EUROPE: "UNCONDITIONAL" SUPPORT FOR ABORTION
In a move that took even member nations by surprise, the Council of Europe has passed a resolution of "unconditional" support for abortion. The body, which shapes policies that are often adopted by the European Union (EU), deals a painful blow to global pro-life efforts. In a rushed move, the group's Parliamentary Assembly allowed just three minutes of discussion on the abortion issue, then proceeded to vote with only 185 of the 316 members present. The few amendments that pro-lifers scrambled to introduce to water down the language were rejected. The Council declared a "right to unlimited legal abortion" by a 33-vote margin. Although the Council of Europe doesn't create policy, it does influence it, which makes this decision significant as the EU's clout increases. If there's a silver lining, it's that the vote isn't "legally binding." However, it sends a disturbing message about the Council's utter disregard for the sanctity of human life. As Pat Buckley of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said, "Nothing in the European Convention on Human Rights recognizes a right to abortion. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the issue of when the right to life begins is a question to be decided at the national level." Clearly, the Council is vastly overstepping its bounds. We urge member nations to denounce the declaration and call for an honest debate. (Family Research Council)
· Father, this is yet another attempt by the evil one to make it "acceptable" to destroy human life, created in Your image. We pray for those fighting this, and ask that they would have favor with those in authority. We pray also for those that were so determined to get the original version passed, and ask that You would work out Your will and Your way in their lives.
· "And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man." (Genesis 9:5-7)
2. EUROZONE COUNTRIES SHOULD SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE, JUNCKER SAYS
Countries using the euro should speak with one voice and be represented by one seat in the International Monetary Fund in order to be more credible, the president of the eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, said on Tuesday (15 April). Referring to an idea raised by French president Nicolas Sarkozy that the eurozone - the 15 countries that have adopted the single currency - should be represented by one single voice internationally, Mr Juncker said he too thought this was "the only way to go.It is absurd for those 15 countries not to agree to have a single representation at the IMF. It makes us look absolutely ridiculous. We are regarded as buffoons on the international scene," the group's president said at a conference in Brussels.
EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia said eurozone countries should first adopt the same political agenda before thinking about common representation. "Once the policy agenda is defined, it's easier to have a single voice and then it's easier to advance to a single representation," Mr Almunia told a news conference on Tuesday." (The EU Observer)
· Father, as we read this news we realize we are moving one step closer to the one world monetary system; something that will take place before Your return. We ask, oh LORD, that You make us ready. We pray that we would not be like the bird that puts its head in the sand, but ever aware and observant of the signs that are happening all around us; may we BELIEVE the prophecy in Your Word that says You will return soon!
· And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:19-21)
3. BUSH, BRITISH PM TO PUSH FOR NEW IRAN SANCTIONS
President Bush says Iran's leaders can not be trusted to maintain a uranium enrichment program that they say is intended only for generating electricity. "They have proven themselves to be untrustworthy. To say that it's OK to let them learn to enrich and assume that that program that knowledge couldn't be transferred to a military program is in my judgment naïve," he said. The president and prime minister spoke to reporters in the White House Rose Garden after private talks in the Oval Office. The two leaders vowed to continue fighting Taleban militia in Afghanistan and say they are encouraged by progress on more troops for that effort following this month's NATO summit. (Voice of America)
· Father God, we have heard the President of Iran boast of his nuclear power, and how he has the ability to destroy our nation. Now he expects the leaders of the free world to believe him when he says he wants nuclear energy for electricity? We pray for the ears of the world to be opened to the lies of this man, and ask LORD for You to silence him, in one way or another!
· "Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit." (Psalm 5:9)
4. IRAN CONTINUES TO ARM HIZBULLAH VIA GROUND, AIR AND SEA
Israel is concerned that Iran will transfer weapons to Hizbullah via ships that anchor in the port of Beirut. According to Israeli government sources, the current UNIFIL [United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] naval patrols that are meant to monitor such attempts are not sufficient in number and lack the capability to enforce an existing embargo on weapon shipments to Lebanon.
A report in Ha'aretz quoted government sources in Jerusalem saying that over a year ago when Germany was in command of the UNIFIL naval patrols, Israel informed them of the suspicions that Iran may try to transfer weapons to Hizbullah and, at the time, Germany promised to increase its superivsion. According to the source, the UNIFIL naval patrols do not physically examine the cargos of suspicious vessels and usually just compare the ships' names and registration numbers. Last month, the Israel Defense Forces declared that Iran was sending Hizbullah weapons over the border via Turkey without the Turkish government's knowledge, and that the weapons were transferred by truck and planes to Syria and Lebanon.
According to Israeli security establishment assessments, Hizbullah has already increased its weapons capability and manpower since the Second Lebanon War, and defense officials believe it is already in possession of tens of thousands of short and long range rockets. Two thirds of its rockets have already been placed south of the Litani River in an area which is under UNIFIL's control. Some weeks ago the responsibility of UNIFIL's naval patrols was transferred from Germany to Italy. (By Staff, Infolive.tv, April 13, 2008) [Reported by: Bridges for Peace]
· Pray that the recent UN Security Council decision will also lead to a critical inquiry into the terrorist activities of the Iranian regime.
· "For the terrible one is brought to nothing, the scornful one is consumed, and all who watch for iniquity are cut off." (Isaiah 29:20)
5. U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS FOR HIZBULLAH TO BE DISARMED
The United Nations Security Council is calling for Hizbullah and other Lebanon-based terrorist organizations to be disarmed. In a statement adopted by the Council on April 15, the body calls for progress on the establishment of a permanent cease-fire with Israel and a solution to the conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Under terms of Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Hizbullah and Israel, the borders were to have been sealed and no arms were to be shipped to Hizbullah. The reality, however, has been that Hizbullah is believed to have more firepower now than it did before the war started.
The statement adopted took note of a report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this past March in which he referenced Israel's charge that Hizbullah continues to be re-armed by Iran and Syria and that its arsenal now includes 10,000 long-range and 20,000 short-range rockets in southern Lebanon. While neither Ban nor the UN has confirmed the Israeli claims, they have been incorporated into the UN's working assumptions. (By Staff, the Media Line, April 16, 2008) [Reported by: Bridges for Peace]
· Praise God for this decision by the UN Security Council and for the acceptance by them of the Israel intelligence report.
· "Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies." (Psalm 108:13)
6. ABBAS IN MOSCOW TO PUSH FOR MIDEAST PEACE CONFERENCE
Palestinian President Mahmoud. Abbas arrived Wednesday evening and was scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. On Thursday, the Palestinian president spoke at Moscow's State Institute for International Relations, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate. He told the audience that the international conference will be held in Moscow in June.
He said the conference is needed to move the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians forward. He added that he hopes it will also lay the groundwork for peace agreements between Israel and Syria and Lebanon. Talks with Israel since the Annapolis, Maryland, conference last November have hit roadblocks. The talks, which aim to reach a peace agreement by the end of this year, have stalemated over Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, launched from the Gaza Strip, and Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Russia has recently strengthened its ties with the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank. But although it is a member of the so-called Middle East Quartet, Moscow also has relations with Hamas, and senior members of Hamas have been invited to Moscow for talks with Russian officials. (Voice of America)
· Pray that these talks between Russia and the Palestinians are fruitless and develop nothing. Obviously Russia is playing a power game with the Middle East, since Russia also has a problem with radical Islam. Islam and communism under Putin will come to conflict. Abbas is talking with Israel and the USA on one hand and Russia on the other. Pray for the peace of Israel.
· " Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: " (Psalm 83:17)
7. RICE SAYS N. KOREAN NUCLEAR STATEMENTS WILL BE "RIGOROUSLY" VERIFIED
Though the terms of North Korea's promised nuclear declaration are still be to be revealed, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is promising that any admission Pyongyang makes will be rigorously verified, and that there would be consequences later if North Korean cheating is discovered. North Korea agreed last year to give up its nuclear program, including weapons, in exchange for aid and diplomatic benefits from the other parties to the accord.
The process has stalled over a declaration Pyongyang was to have made by the end of last year of all its nuclear activities including any help it may have gotten from, or provided to, other countries. But recent press reports have cited a tentative U.S.- North Korean deal under which Pyongyang would list its physical nuclear holdings while only tacitly acknowledging proliferation. The media reports, though unconfirmed, have drawn expressions of outrage from U.S. conservatives, including former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton who attacked the arrangement as "surrender" by the Bush administration.
At a news conference, Secretary Rice provided little insight about an emerging deal and suggested that some elements will remain confidential. But she said there will be appropriate means of verification and that concessions to Pyongyang - such as removing it from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism - could be revoked later if necessary. "Verification takes some time, because these are complex programs. This is a non-transparent society. There is a history here of surprises," she said. "And so it will take some time, even past the second phase, for verification to completely play out. But my point is: just because we believe obligations may have been met in the second phase, if there is evidence as we are into the third phase that something was not true that was said in the second phase, there is always the ability and absolute intention to react to that." (Voice of America)
· Father, we lift this situation to You and ask that You would oversee. We know that it is the poor people of North Korea that are suffering because of their leader's lust for power, and tenancy toward lies. We ask that this not go on any longer, but that either Pyongyang tells the truth, or YOU deal with him, for the sake of the people.
· "You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors" (Psalm 5:6)
8. NORTH AMERICAN LEADERS MEET ON NAFTA IN NEW ORLEANS TODAY
President Bush is tending to his country's relationship with Canada and Mexico one last time, trumpeting trade over the "scare tactics" of economic isolation. Bush joins Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday in New Orleans for his fourth and final North American Leaders' Summit. Despite its lofty name, the two-day summit lacks a defining issue and is not expected to yield any major announcements. It is more like a progress report on how the three countries are integrating - important for commerce and security, but not exactly enticing.
The United States and its two neighbors already have the largest free-trade zone in the world, and an economic relationship that has swelled to nearly $1 trillion a year. To bolster that cooperation, the countries have made a concerted effort to harmonize standards on everything from food safety to baggage screening to energy efficiency. Bush and his counterparts championed this effort three years ago and keep refining it. In New Orleans, the leaders will push anew to streamline the rules for all three countries. The areas of focus this time include fuel efficiency standards; crackdowns against counterfeit or pirated goods; long-term plans for repairing roads and bridges; responses to natural disasters. (Fox News)
· No matter where we look today, "globalization" seems to be the operative word. The Bible is true and does not lie; in the latter days, all will begin to shift ultimately towards a one-world government. Bring these talks in New Orleans before God's Throne of Grace, asking Him to set boundaries according to His will. May His Name -- and His Name only -- be praised.
· "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." (Matt. 6:10)
9. U.S. TAKES OVER NEW BAGHDAD EMBASSY
The United States has taken ownership of the mammoth new, heavily fortified embassy in Baghdad after months of delay, the State Department said Monday. The government had held off on taking legal possession of the $736 million complex until construction problems and delays were resolved. An order signed Monday covers the main embassy building but not additional office space now set aside for the top U.S. ground commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus. The "certificate of occupancy" means the U.S. government can now move into 27 buildings inside the heavily protected compound inside the Green Zone, where a recent spate of insurgent attacks has killed at least two U.S. soldiers and two American civilians. The move is expected to take place in late May or early June. The certificate "attests to substantial completion of construction, as well as successful testing and validation of the major buildings and communications systems," State Department spokesman Tom Casey said.
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker told reporters last week that construction was complete at the Vatican-sized compound, which will replace the current embassy quarters in a Saddam Hussein-era palace. "It's been a difficult few weeks, rockets are bouncing off your buildings, and maintaining focus can be an occasional challenge," Crocker said. "We will begin moving into the new embassy - some of the office space and the apartments - probably the end of next month, the beginning of June, so that will certainly improve quality of life and provide some added protection," he told reporters. The rise in insurgent attacks prompted the embassy late last month to order personnel not to leave reinforced buildings and to wear helmets and body armor if they must go outside. A shortage of space in fortified areas has forced some diplomats to sleep at the new embassy site despite the lack of occupancy approvals. "We worry a lot less about formal safety certifications and a lot more about ensuring people have a place to sleep where rockets couldn't get at them," Crocker said.
The new embassy will be the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in the world, with fortified working space for 1,000 people and living quarters for several hundred on a 104-acre site. Congressional Democrats have launched investigations into whether the State Department had adequate control of the project, which has been complicated by security concerns, including a September incident in which private Blackwater USA guards are accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians while protecting an embassy convoy. (AP)
· Ask our Lord to release His heavenly "security forces" to render additional protection to all who will live and work inside this new Embassy. May this Embassy, in its own quiet way, be one that is used to release the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of Iraq. In His Name, amen.
· "If you make the Most High your dwelling- even the LORD, who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways . . . " (Psalm 91:9- 11)
| ||A BIG "Thank You" -- Once Again|
Every so often, we like to stop and say "THANK YOU" to the wonderful team of "prayer editors" Father God has raised up, from all across the country who, working together, bring forth our intercession in our alerts.
Both "On Capitol Hill This Week," and "The Daily Brief" are written and compiled by a TEAM of sisters in Christ who, even so, seem to all speak with ONE VOICE -- the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Only our gracious LORD could have brought together such an anointed group, from such diverse backgrounds . . . but He knows the heart of each one.
And so this week, as we pause to observe the coming National Day of Prayer, we wish to thank God publicly for the giftings and anointings of these precious hidden ones in Christ:
Barbara M. -- Virginia
Joan S. -- Ohio
Deb P. -- Montana
Daily Brief Team:
Anita L. -- Texas
Susan T. -- Colorado
Faye H. -- Idaho
Cindy M. -- Mississippi
THANK YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS YOU, TOO!!! This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . . How thankful I am to be able to look at the Sun of Righteousness. You are all the more glorious than I ever could hope for. Thank You for Your good plan for my life. It is a plan for my future and my hope. Thank You, Lord. "In the night I remember Your name, O Lord, and I will keep Your law." (Psalm 119:55) (Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)
SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (Sheh-mesh Ts-dah- kah)
"But for you who revere My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings." (Malachi 4:2
This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .
How thankful I am to be able to look at the Sun of Righteousness. You are all the more glorious than I ever could hope for. Thank You for Your good plan for my life. It is a plan for my future and my hope. Thank You, Lord.
"In the night I remember Your name, O Lord, and I will keep Your law." (Psalm 119:55)
(Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)